Thursday, July 13, 2006


I've seen this article from CWN on the blogs of Gerald, Anthony, and The New Liturgical Movement. Here it is:

Jul. 13 ( - The Vatican is planning to restore some disciplinary control of the liturgy, according the secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship, in response to widespread abuses.

Speaking to the I Media news agency in Rome, Archbishop Albert Malcom Ranjith Patabendige Don will soon take steps to indicate the importance of following the Church's liturgical guidelines. Asked whether Pope Benedict XVI is preparing a document on the liturgy, Archbishop Ranjith answered indirectly, noting that the Holy Father has written and spoken extensively on liturgical issues in past years. Pope Benedict is keenly aware of today's challenges, he said, and determined to restore a proper sense of reverence to the liturgy. The Sri Lankan prelate said that some of his thoughts had been taken out of context after a previous interview with the French newspaper La Croix. He had not intended to suggest that the liturgical reforms of Vatican II had failed, he stressed; rather, he meant that some liturgical changes had produced an overreaction, and a loss of appreciation for Church traditions. As a result, he said, "the reforms of the Council did not bear the expected fruit, because of the way in which they were interpreted and put into practice." Now, he continued, the great challenge for the Church is to promote a deeper understanding of the liturgical reforms: one in keeping with the constant traditions of Catholicism. Archbishop Ranjith said that two extremes must be avoided: a liturgical free-for-all in which "every priest of bishop does what he wants, which creates confusion;" or a complete abandonment of liturgical reforms, leading to a vision that is "closed up in the past." Today, he said, those two extremes are becoming more prominent, and the Church needs to establish a middle ground.

Every day, the archbishop disclosed, the Congregation for Divine Worship receives new complaints about serious liturgical abuses, and complaints that local bishops have failed to correct them. If the Church fails to curb these abuses, he said, "people will attend the Tridentine Mass, and our churches will be empty." Liturgical guidelines are set forth clearly, he observed, in the Roman Missal and in Church documents. Now "some discipline is necessary regarding what we do at the altar."

Archbishop Ranjith spoke to I Media after returning from Kumasi, Ghana, where he participated in a workshop about the liturgy in Africa. He reported that Church officials from 23 different African countries took part in the discussions, which centered on questions of translation and inculturation.

Shawn at the NLM also adds an interview with Archbishop Ranjith (translated to English) from a French source. It's a really good read.

Gerald at the Closed Cafeteria adds this:
Apart from music, liturgical discipline has been a big problem for decades, but it seems to be getting a lot better with younger priests coming in. They don't usually have the hippie monkey on their back and are interested in being authentically Catholic. The mere fact that progressives are getting defensive (and extra-ecclesial reactionaries trying to downplay improvements) shows that we're on the right path. Thirty years ago, many of the things in discussion now would have had no chance at all.

My own pastor and direct supervisor, mid 40's, is living proof of that. A visiting priest, I'll say 60's, maybe 70's, and a former curate at my parish, once called my pastor "conservative". I wanted to say, "no, he's Catholic". Needless to say, the visiting priest, in a later visit, allowed a eulogy to take place at my parish, against the pastor's wishes. As for defensiveness by progressives, I can testify to that via my own horrendous experiences in the main Yahoo group that is run by none other than the NPM.

Anthony at Jumping without a Chute says this:
In my Diocese we went to at least 4 parishes before finally finding one where the Liturgy was in keeping with what is appropriate. The TLM looks better and better every day.

Been in that boat before, as, I'm sure, many others. It's like trying to work out of Gather Comprehensive or a Music Issue of any year, or like a typical radio station in southern New England. Ya gotta sift through the garbage to get to the good stuff.



aaron said...

bring it on!

Valerie said...

Ah, sifting through garbage...

I met the deacon from a neighboring parish yesterday at the dry cleaner. He noted the Crucifix around my neck and asked where I attended Mass. I told him where I was registered (but haven't attended in well over a month because of schedule difficulties) and that we bounce around here and there because of our hectic weekend schedule.

He kindly told me that I should be attending my neighborhood parish. While that is actually the place where I've attended Mass most frequently in the past two months since moving, I couldn't explain to him why I hesitate to register there.

The pastor has done a good job of making the church more Catholic. Since being installed there in the last six months or so, he has put up a Crucifix and placed the Tabernacle in the center behind the altar. Unfortunately, he has a HUGE job ahead of him if he wishes to do something about the music.

Sometimes I think pastors may have very good intentions, but can meet resistence from parishioners who are so used to doing things a certain way. I think this is especially true when trying to work with laity who are in positions of "power" within the parish. I'm sure it would be nice to have some "back up" from higher up in the Church.

Anyway, at this point I'm tired of sifting through garbage and try to console myself that the "source and summit" is the Eucharist, no matter how shabby the trappings around it might be. Like Anthony, though, the TLM looks more and more appealing the longer I sit sifting through the garbage heap.